Guinness Black lager

Guinness Black lager

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Diageo is to trial a bottled Guinness lager in Northern Ireland and Malaysia, to be supported by heavyweight advertising.

Diageo will introduce 33cl bottles of Guinness Black Lager in both the on- and off-trade in Northern Ireland from this month, the drinks giant confirmed to just-drinks today (22 March).

At 4.5% abv, the lager version of Guinness will be sold "at a price comparable to premium lagers", Diageo said.
"It represents a real growth opportunity for the brand," a Diageo spokesperson told just-drinks.

The company is seeking to continue growing share with Guinness in the UK and Ireland by tapping into a growing consumer trend for premium, bottled lager.

Guinness, which celebrated its 250th anniversary last year, is one of only three Diageo brands to register GBP1bn (US$1.5bn) in annual net sales.

Northern Ireland will be used as a Guinness Black Lager test market for Europe, with the trial supported by heavyweight advertising and in-bar promotions.

"The trial period is likely to be anywhere from five to nine months, as long as we need to gather the sales patterns following the initial sales uplift," said the Diageo spokesperson.

The beer will also be tested in Malaysia, which is the company's test market for Asia.

Brewed with malted barley and packaged with a silver and blue label, the lager is fermented using a Guinness Lager yeast, which introduces a new taste profile, Diageo said. Following the maturation period, the beer is cold filtered at sub-zero degrees.